Lauberhorn Racers Cancelled, Moved to Kitzbuhel


Lauberhorn Racers Cancelled, Moved to Kitzbuhel

Started by J2SkiNews in Ski News - 33 Replies

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Lauberhorn Racers Cancelled, Moved to Kitzbuhel

J2SkiNews posted 11-Jan

The International Ski Federation (FIS) has just announced that the famous Lauberhorn World Cup races due to take place next weekend have been cancelled, instead most of the races will be staged in Kitzbuhel, which was due to host its own Hahnankamm races the weekend after.

There'll now be two days of slalom racing (the race moved from Wengen and the Kitzbuhel race a week earlier than planned), next weekend, followed by two successive days of downhill racing then a Super G from 22nd to 24th January, all at Kitzbuhel.

The FIS say the decision to cancel the race was made by the authorities in Bern, the canton where Wengen is located. Immediately social media commentators pointed to the apparent irony that Wengen can open to recreational skiers but can't allow competitive races, the reverse of the position in Austria at present it seems.

The FIS statement reads:
"Due to the current circumstances with the Covid-19 pandemic the Men's Audi FIS Ski World Cup races in Wengen (SUI) scheduled for 15th-17th January 2021 have been cancelled. The Canton of Bern's Health and Business Administration decided to withdraw the permit for the Lauberhorn races in consultation with the Wengen OC, Swiss-Ski and the people responsible for the Ski World Cup. It was determined by the Bern Authorities, after a detailed evaluation, that it would not be possible to take all precautions so that the athletes and the support teams can be adequately protected in separate zones."

www  The Snow Hunter
Edited 2 times. Last update at 11-Jan-2021

reply to 'Lauberhorn Racers Cancelled, Moved to Kitzbuhel'
posted 11-Jan

As part of the measures to separate the athletes from the general population the Kleine Scheidegg and Lauberhorn sectors were due to be closed to the public from tomorrow.

According to the press release issued by Canton Berne the cancelation was triggered by the rapid spread of the so called 'British' B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19.

From the German press release:

"The canton is concerned about the dynamic in which the virus is spreading. Based on this fact, the Health Directorate assumes that it is primarily the virus mutation from Great Britain that is leading to this effect.

In consultation with the OC, Swiss-Ski and those responsible for the Ski World Cup, the Health and Economic Directorates have decided to withdraw the permit for the Lauberhorn races. This is also because, after careful evaluation of the special measures announced yesterday, it will not be possible to take all precautions to ensure that the athletes and accompanying teams can be adequately protected in separate zones.

In Wengen, the virus has spread very quickly since mid-December. In just four weeks, over 60 cases have been reported within the Wengen population, after almost no cases before.

The Health Directorate will continuously examine and implement further measures to protect the population and holiday guests. As a first measure, mobile testing teams will be sent to Wengen to increase the testing capacity for the population.

The population of Wengen is asked to stay at home whenever possible and to avoid contacts outside their own household. If this is not possible, hygiene measures, distance rules and the obligation to wear a mask must be strictly observed. A test should be carried out if the slightest symptoms occur and also in the case of contact with people who have tested positive for the Corona virus. The same measures apply to tourists and guests staying in hotels or other holiday accommodation."

According to reports in the local press the closure of schools, hotels, holiday accommodation and other businesses in Wengen is also under consideration.

reply to 'Lauberhorn Racers Cancelled, Moved to Kitzbuhel'
posted 11-Jan

Interesting, thanks. Am I right in thinking the Lauberhorn owes its existence to the British in the first few decades of the last century? in some ways slightly ironic if the English variant of the virus has killed off the 2021 race.
www  The Snow Hunter

reply to 'Lauberhorn Racers Cancelled, Moved to Kitzbuhel'
posted 11-Jan

The Lauberhorn downhill race was founded by Ernst Gertsch in 1930, he was president of the organising committee for 40 years after he retired his son Viktor Gertsch took over. Victors brother Ulo Gertsch designed the Gertsch plate binding, a touring binding for the Swiss army that became the Fritschi touring binding and the heel hold down mechanism for the Salomon rear entry boot.

According to the latest reports another 100 people tested positive between Sunday and Monday, including race helpers, the race director is also in quarantine. Because it had to be assumed that many more people from the Lauberhorn team were infected with the virus, the danger to the athletes was too great.

reply to 'Lauberhorn Racers Cancelled, Moved to Kitzbuhel'
posted 12-Jan

Interesting on the history. I see Arnold Lunn gets a very brief mention but the histories of ski racing in Wengen from British writers seem to give him a more prominent position and talk of British organised Lauberhorn ski races from 1912 on, if not the official version from 1930 on. I see a Brit took bronze in that first race! Sorry to hear about all the COVID infections. Will they shut down Wengen altogether with that level or keep it open regardless? I see Big White in Canada has over 120 cases in their 'cluster' and has stayed open to locals but (after about three weeks since cluster first apparent) has started cancelling bookings from people living further afield in Canada.
www  The Snow Hunter

reply to 'Lauberhorn Racers Cancelled, Moved to Kitzbuhel'
posted 12-Jan

Arnold Lunn was very much involved, as well as being the founder of the Kandahar Ski Club he was also a member of the Swiss Academic Ski Club, which was the co-founder of the Lauberhorn race. In 1920s Lunn organised the Anglo Swiss ski races these were the forerunners of the Lauberhorn races. Last year the 'Anglo Swiss' celebrated its 95th anniversary

Over the Christmas holidays a British tourist who failed to go into quarantine managed to infect 27 people in the hotel he was staying at (which has now had to close) with the B1.1.7 variant.

The person concerned was the subject of a question at today's Federal Office of Public Health Corona virus press conference. In answer Linda Nartey the Cantonal Medical Officer for Berne and Vice President of the Association of Cantonal Medical Officers said:

"The regulation was clear: The super spreader from Great Britain in Wengen should have gone into quarantine, but disregarded this regulation. He only went into quarantine later."

I wouldn't like to be in his shoes when the Swiss authorities catch up with him!

A mobile test team is being sent to Wengen and will carry out mass testing from tomorrow, I think the authorities are worried that Wengen could become Ischgl 2. At the moment there are no plans to shut down Wengen, but this might change once they get the results from the mass testing.

reply to 'Lauberhorn Racers Cancelled, Moved to Kitzbuhel'
posted 13-Jan

The World Cup slalom races that were moved from Wengen to Kitzbühel have been cancelled and will now be staged in Flachau at a date to be announced. There are no plans to cancel the downhill at the moment.

In Jochberg in the district of Kitzbühel, 17 cases of the new Corona mutation B.1.1.7 are suspected. British ski instructors are said to have introduced the variant, which is said to be significantly more contagious, before Christmas. Sequencing is still underway. The Austrian federal government is calling on all local residents to undergo PCR testing.
Edited 2 times. Last update at 13-Jan-2021

Dachstein west skier
reply to 'Lauberhorn Racers Cancelled, Moved to Kitzbuhel'
posted 14-Jan

Blimey just because us Brits can't get out there at the moment doesn't mean we should try to cancel the locals main ski events in the year. I was at Kitzbuhel and Schladming a few years ago for the downhill and night slalom tragic news and loss of revenue as major earners. Brits will be viewed with negativity if the virus causes a major lockdown preventing the locals from skiing and post Brexit won't be easy to get work next season. Fingers crossed they don't cancel the downhill will be watching Ski Sunday in anticipation of another podium finish for Dave Ryding Kitzbuhel his favourite course.

Topic last updated on 22-January-2021 at 07:39

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